Feral Bees and Health

Bio-security tends to be the main, one might say only, focus of much that we read about honey bee health.  This mirrors the bio-security approach taken in respect of other farm animals.  What this approach overlooks is the fact that honeybees are wild animals, native to our climes, and they have lived as such for millions of years without man ‘maintaining’ them.  In this regard they differ notably from other domesticated livestock which has all, to a greater or lesser degree, been bred by man since the invention of agriculture.

Relatively little research has been done on the health, and health maintenance, mechanisms of wild honey bees.  Some of the papers that are available are listed below and linked to pdf’s.  If you come across others that have open access, please let me know and I will add them to the list.

Wild Honeybees & Disease, L Bailey, 1958

AFB in Feral Bee Colonies in New Zealand, R M Goodwin, A Ten Houten & J H Perry, 1994

Honeybee colonies surviving Varroa in Sweden, B Locke & I Fries, 2010

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